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Hoag Esophageal Cancer Program
What is Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in the esophagus, a tube-like structure that runs from the throat down to the stomach. There are two main types of esophageal cancer – squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a condition in which abnormal squamous cells (the cells that make up part of the mucous membrane that lines the esophagus) divide and spread uncontrollably. In the past, squamous cell carcinomas were responsible for nearly 90% of all esophageal cancers. However, they now make up less than 50% of esophageal cancers.
Adenocarcinomas occur in glandular tissue and not in squamous tissue. Before an adenocarcinoma can develop, glandular cells must replace an area of squamous cells, as in the case of Barrett’s esophagus. This transformation is most common in the lower esophagus, which is the site of most adenocarcinomas.
Risk Factors for Esophageal Cancer
The following are the most common risk factors for esophageal cancer:
- Smoking or other use of tobacco
- Heavy alcohol use
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) increases the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. In fact, the majority of Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus are related to GERD.
- Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that affects the lower part of the esophagus and is caused by GERD. Over time, it can cause changes in the cells of the esophagus that increase the risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.
- In addition, men, the elderly, and African Americans are at greater risk for developing esophageal cancer.
Expert Care You Can Trust
Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.
Esophageal Cancer Nurse Navigator
A clinical nurse navigator serves an important role as facilitator and guide for patients, providing resources, access to clinical providers and answering questions throughout the cancer journey.
Meet the Team
Your multidisciplinary esophageal cancer team at Hoag will guide you every step of the way through your care. We are here for you.
Groundbreaking Clinical Trials & Research
Hoag leads innovative clinical trials, including immunotherapy agents, all pushing for more advanced, effective care for esophageal cancer patients.
We are here for you
Cancer care is a journey, one taken by you, your family and friends, and alongside Hoag. Hoag Family Cancer Institute can pair you with a dedicated clinical nurse navigator to support you with resources, connections to providers, and most importantly, help make you feel like you again.